Re[4]: Postmodernism -- switching epistemes... LO129

Fri, 17 Feb 95 10:22:16 PST

Replying to LO129:

Rick -- Kent suggests we return this thread to the discussion list.

Host's Note: Kent's words appear immediately below. Sean's are further
down, indented with "> ".


Thank you for this response. I think you should send it to the list. I
think it is an excellent reply to my arguments.

Have you read Jane Jacobs THE ECONOMY OF CITIES where she says that
farming comes from cities not vice versa as is ordinarily assumed.

The position that philosophy is the most practical discipline is just a
way of getting people to think about the point that logos (philosophy) and
physus (farming) are not different but the same thing. Look at the work of
Wendell Berry for instance (STANDING BY WORDS) as a good example. Or look
at PermaCulture. Another related example might be Alexander's PATTERN
LANGUAGE. Who ever said that farmers did not learn -- in fact they are
perhaps the first generalists. Who ever sid that they did not ever
philosophize. Philosophy in the midst of practical affairs. Practicality
in the mids of philosophy. Philososphy is the most practical thing because
it answers the primary question . . . Why are we doing this.


Kent D. Palmer, Ph.D. :Administrator of ThinkNet {aka DialogNet}
Software Engineering Technologist :philosophy and systems theory email lists
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On Thu, 16 Feb 1995, GAWNE, SEAN wrote:

> Kent - well, I have to admit that it was a small flicker of a flame,
> but I tried to be politic. And I am not condemning philosophy, in fact
> I started out as a philosophy major myself, gave that up, went back to
> school later and got my degree in educational design, and now make a
> living as a chemical engineer/organizational developer/technical
> trainer/nuclear plant management hack. You would have to search long
> and hard to find someone who's more of a generalist than I.
> I guess it's just that I find a lot more value in my work as a father
> raising my children to be decent people, or in tending my little
> garden, than in any of the above mentioned noble roles. I find the
> older I get, the more I realize how much I should defer to those who
> came before me, and how little I really know, for all my cleverness.
> Some of what passes for intelligent discussion on this list strikes me
> as having no more rigorous thought behind it than astronomy. There is
> a strong parallel between people who would liken human behavior to
> subatomic particles and those who feel the movements of the stars
> control earthly events, I think. I like to occasionally challenge
> something that is presented matter-of-factly, because things aren't
> always so simple.
> As I said, I don't mean to condemn your position, just ask you to
> check your assumptions. I still don't agree with your posit that
> philosophy is more practical than any other discipline; it's damn
> difficult for a philosopher to eat without a farmer, eh? And I think
> it's your assumption that a farmer would be a specialist, not a
> generalist. You may want to check that assumption before you act on
> it, I think you'd find a good number of farmers have a pretty good
> knowledge of a good many things. In fact, while they might not be able
> to quote all the sources you reference, they may surprise you with
> their understanding of the world.
> Glad you put forth some new ideas, and looking forward to seeing the
> replies!
> Sean Gawne,
> philosopher -- dad -- running dog lackey of the imperialist scum
> (choose one, I've been called all)